Rasa (and All Spice) has been on the to-try list for a few years). A mention by @tastytime and a last minute dinner plan change finally nudged me over the line for a visit to Rasa. Rasa labels itself as a restaurant serving coastal Southern Indian food, and snatched a star for the last couple of years. The server stressed the quality and provenance of their ingredients (organic, free range, etc.), and some of the items are not traditional but dishes more familiar to the masses here re-imagined with Southern Indian seasoning.
Bombay sliders with a potato patty fritters, dipped into ghee with the chutney podi mixed in. The ghee added richness and the chutney podi (gunpowder spice) added complexity with a little bit of chili kick.
Black + white calamari with tamarind sauce. The tamarind sauce was at once sweet, tart, fruity, with a tiny bit of kick from ghost pepper, brightening up the fried spiced calamaris that otherwise were a bit muted.
Genovese basil dosa with tamarind chutney and spiced potato masala hash. Its a bit odd to eat dosa (or uthappam) during dinner but they have a whole section of these on their menu so why not. Here the quality of the ingredients made the dosa stood out. I particularly liked the coconut chutney, in which the coconut flavors subtly shined through rather than overpowered.
Andhra chicken curry with Kerala paratha. Too often lower quality meat was used in Indian curries. These chicken thighs were tender and succulent. The curry was very mellow, balanced and nuanced. Its a bit too mellow, for me.
To summarize, its a meal of restraint and balance, with good quality ingredients. To me, perhaps because of what I ordered, the flavors were a bit muted and didn’t awake the senses as I hoped it would. I am not saying it should be super spicy, but 30% more of every seasoning should brighten the flavors. I’d happily take any of the sauces home though.
The server recommended also the moilee, a coconut fish curry, which he pointed out was one of the spicier items on the menu. Ours, as he pointed out, was at the lower end of the spice scale. If I have the chance, I would just go straight to the ‘spicier’ items on the menu next time.
What are people’s favorite items on the menu? How do you like Rasa? What are your favorite higher end Indian eateries around here?